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Grub 1 broke too many times for me; when I looked at the source to try and fix a bug I was so scared that I deleted the source and switched back to lilo for all my systems.
Grub 2 is slightly better, but still *far* too complex for my liking.
There are now new maintainers for lilo, so I'm hopeful for continuing maintenance. Otherwise, extlinux looks like a good simple replacement.
"I forgot to run LILO"
Posted Dec 10, 2010 12:27 UTC (Fri) by etienne (subscriber, #25256)
Ever tried Gujin (at sourceforge)?
Either the full blown interface you get when installing the whole package, or the new "boot the newest vmlinuz/initrd you found in /boot and do not ask any question" mode?
In short, to test, install the precompiled package associated with your distribution, and reboot: you are running the main Gujin bootloader.
Once rebooted, desinstall the package, it restores the previous bootloader automatically.
To test the new "do not ask any question mode" (and if you only have a single Linux distribution on your PC), before uninstalling the package, type on a terminal as root:
/sbin/gujin -t tinyext4.bin /boot/minigujin.ebios
and reboot, it will loads Linux without any question.
To remove that new simplified mode, just type as root:
/sbin/gujin --remove /boot/minigujin.ebios
That will bring you back to the previous bootloader, i.e. full Gujin interface, that you can remove if you want to by uninstalling the package.
Gujin do not work if your kernels are on a LVM slice, and it only recognises few filesystems, but ext*fs, vfat or iso9660 are fine.
Posted Dec 11, 2010 9:03 UTC (Sat) by dlang (✭ supporter ✭, #313)
this is where grub falls down and the simplicity of lilo makes it still usable.
lilo may not be simple to setup in such a situation, but it's simple enough that it's failures are simple and so you can fairly easily work your way through the issues to get a working system. With Grub it's hard enough to figure out what grub is really having problems with (what's it trying to do exactly??) that the result is (on a complex configuration) it crosses over to the unusable category.
Posted Dec 13, 2010 13:10 UTC (Mon) by etienne (subscriber, #25256)
There is for instance no problem having Fedora, Ubuntu and debian distributions in both 32 and 64 bits installed on the same PC (i.e. 6 distributions in 6+ different partitions), plus kind of 10-20 iso images of live CD distributions.
One problem with other bootloaders is that when you boot from a USB key, some PC shift all BIOS drives numbers, so that number cannot be safely written in a static configuration file.
For instance, if you have a distribution on a USB disk, distribution containing it own /boot/gujin.cmd to supply its own command line to its own kernel, you can boot your PC with or without this disk connected; Gujin will automatically recognise that way to boot and display a line in the menu.
It doesn't matter if Gujin came from the hard disks or the USB disk.
Posted Dec 15, 2010 4:44 UTC (Wed) by dlang (✭ supporter ✭, #313)
your description of the many-OS system can still be done with very few drives
Posted Dec 15, 2010 10:39 UTC (Wed) by etienne (subscriber, #25256)
Well, the 15 disks limit was done because it is said that some BIOS would have a problem - and BIOS disk 0x90 was the same as BIOS disk 0x80...
But as long as your vmlinuz/initrd pair is located in one of the first 15 disks Gujin should still work.
Moreover, I assume that you start your system with some disk in "power on standby mode" - or else you have a massive power supply; those disks will not contain the /boot partition.
Gujin has been tested with disks in "power on standby mode".
With such a system, if your main MBR is corrupted and you try to boot from a USB key, and that key is mapped by the BIOS as disk 0x80 (shifting all other disks numbers by one), your preconfigured mapping in either Grub or LILO will be wrong (trying to load from the wrong disk).
Increasing the default number of disk supported in Gujin is a single "#define NB_DISK" change, maybe I'll increase the default.
> your description of the many-OS system can still be done with very few drives
One drive is enough, but the complexity to manage the six Grub configurations in six partitions is a nightmare...
Posted Dec 15, 2010 19:53 UTC (Wed) by dlang (✭ supporter ✭, #313)
the IDE drives are connected to 3-ware raid cards (but not using the raid features of the cards), not directly to the motherboard.
Posted Dec 20, 2010 13:58 UTC (Mon) by nix (subscriber, #2304)
Posted Dec 13, 2010 15:26 UTC (Mon) by nix (subscriber, #2304)
Not being able to boot off LVM might be annoying, as LILO can boot off LVM as long as it's not also RAIDed, but not being able to boot off any live RAID-1 partition would be a killer.
(disclaimer: horrible flu so have not even looked at gujin, preferring to randomly pontificate: this *is* the internet).
Posted Dec 15, 2010 10:45 UTC (Wed) by etienne (subscriber, #25256)
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